Following the success of this year’s London 2012 Olympics, the popularity of activity-based holidays has soared. It appears a rise in the demand for activity holidays over beach and relaxation breaks has been inspired by the success of Team GB and the sporting triumphs of gold medallists such as Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Jessica Ennis.
Reliving childhood memories
The increase comes as no surprise as the popularity of the Olympics has provided us all with the opportunity to ride on the coattails of our favourite sporting heroes and bask in the nation’s glory.
Many of us may have excelled at, or even just enjoyed, sport at school but have let our involvement fall by the wayside as adult life caught up with us. Exercise nowadays is more likely to involve the gym or a joyless jog than it would an enjoyable sporting pursuit. But that is changing, as British holiday-makers sign up to holidays revolving around activity.
Rise in figures
Mark Warner, an activity specialist company, attributes the marked increase in activity holidays, e.g. tennis, ski holidays, sailing and windsurfing holidays, to the ‘Olympic effect’.
Tim Locke, Head of Marketing at Mark Warner, said, “We are noticing a growing trend for people wanting to combine fitness and well-being on holiday: we are putting this down to the Olympic effect.”
Tennis, sailing and cycling furore
The activity specialist company has reported a 17% increase in its enquiries for tennis and 20% for sailing holidays since last year. The company believes this change in behaviour can be attributed to Andy Murray’s career year. Murray won gold in the Men’s Singles before he and tennis partner Laura Robson went on to clinch the silver medal in the mixed doubles (and later won the US Open). In the same vein, Team GB’s sailors landed themselves with three medals.
Similarly, this year’s Tour de France winner, Bradley Wiggins, has generated much home interest, especially after his subsequent Olympic time trial triumph and Team GB’s cycling heroics in the velodrome. Not surprisingly, H F Holidays, a company that offers cycling breaks across the continent, has noted an increase in enquiries after the 2012 London Olympics.
The surge in activity-based holidays will come as positive news to the Olympics organisers whose motto, “inspire a generation”, seems to have come to fruition.
The term ‘thrillaxing’ refers to the enjoyment of doing something that is both stimulating and relaxing at the same time. By going on an adventure, or activity-based holiday, instead of sipping pina coladas on a beach in Spain or Thailand, holiday makers find their thrill and relaxation after a day of strenuous activity. One great advantage of this is that instead of gaining weight on holiday after ploughing through a long succession of buffets, there are exercise and calorie-burning workouts scheduled in for each day.